The Great British Bake Off has inspired thousands of Brits to get out their oven gloves, so much so that last year Waitrose reported that they had seen a 55% rise in sales of bakery supplies thanks to the show.
You may watch the contestants on Bake Off and think to yourself ‘come on people, it’s just a Babka!’ but if you’re like me, when it comes to actually making the bread it’s not as simple as it looks.
Luckily for you, we’ve found three of the simplest yet fancy bread recipes that you can make at home. Take a look at our list and impress your friends with your very own bread week.
Everyone loves scones. They’re possibly the most British cake out there. To impress your guests with this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients.
- One large egg white
- Two cups of all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
- Three tablespoons of granulated sugar
- One and half teaspoons of baking powder
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Five tablespoons of chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- Half a cup of fat-free milk
- A quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One third of a cup of dried currants
- Two teaspoons of fat-free milk
Start by combining the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl and mix. Break the butter into the mixture quickly so it doesn’t melt. You can use your hands or two forks to do this until mixed.
Next, put the milk, egg white and the vanilla into a separate bowl and mix. Slowly add this into your flour mixture until moist. This will now resemble a dough. Flour your kitchen counter and turn the dough out of the bowl onto the counter. Sprinkle your dough with the dried currants and knead until the currants are distributed.
Roll the dough into a circle of 6-8 inches, depending on how thick you want your scones to be. Pop your dough onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. You want to cut into your dough and separate into 12 sections. Don’t cut through the dough and separate the scones. Brush with milk and bake at 425 degrees for 17-20 minutes and then marvel at your baking skills!
Simple banana bread
It seemed like everyone’s Grandma made banana bread when I was a kid. It’s become the go to bread recipe if everyone at work is baking something or its your niece’s birthday party. To make your own banana bread you’ll need:
- Two large eggs
- Two cups of all-purpose flour
- Three quarters of a teaspoon of baking soda
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- One third of a cup of plain low-fat yogurt
- One cup of sugar
- A quarter of a cup of butter, softened
- One and a half cups of mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Cooking spray (optional, you could use butter)
First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda with a whisk. Next you should beat the sugar and the butter together in a large bowl until its blended. This should take about a minute. Add your eggs, one at a time and beat after each addition. Then add the yogurt, banana and vanilla extract and mix until blended.
Add in your flour mixture and beat this until your mixture looks moist. Spoon into a loaf sized baking tray and cook for an hour, or until your knife comes out clean. If you want to jazz your banana loaf up, you could add raisins or chocolate chips before you bake.
All year-round hot cross buns
Whoever told you hot cross buns are only for Easter was wrong. Any guest at your house for Sunday lunch will jump for joy when you tell them that you’re serving hot cross buns for dessert. Thanks to the ‘crosses’ on our buns, this recipe is slightly harder than the others, but we’ve got no doubt you’ll master it. You will need:
For the buns
- 500g of strong white bread flour
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- Two heaped teaspoons of mixed spice
- 50g of caster sugar
- 50g of butter chopped into cubes
- 200g of mixed dried fruit
- 7g of easy-blend dried yeast
- 200ml milk
- Two eggs
For the crosses & glaze
- Three tablespoons of plain flour
- Honey or golden syrup for brushing on top
Mix the flour, salt, mixed spice and sugar into a bowl. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingers and stir in the mixed fruit and the yeast.
Next you need to slowly heat up the milk so that its warm, not hot. Beat your warm milk and eggs together then add your flour mixture in. Once you have a moist dough, you need to let it rest for five minutes.
Take out your dough and cut into equal pieces. Shape your pieces into buns on a floured worktop. Place onto a baking sheet and loosely cover with cling film. You need to leave your buns in a warm place until they increase by half their size. Depending on how warm the place you leave them in is, this should take around an hour.
Once your buns have risen, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Mix your three tablespoons of flour with two tablespoons of water to make a paste and spread on top of your buns in a cross shape. Bake for 12-15 then brush with honey or golden syrup. These buns are definitely best when hot and dripping with butter!
So there you have it. Three, very simple bread recipes that will make you feel like Star Baker for the rest of the week.
What are your favourite bread recipes? Who are you putting your money on to win the Bake Off this year?